15 August 2013

Crohn's Girl Running

There has been so much goodness and delight and sunshiny happiness going on in my world of running that I have had no time to update anyone on it. I haven't even filled in my parents on all the gory details of everything I've done and I live with them.

I just wanted to revel in all I've done this summer. It's gone by too, too fast. And isn't that said every summer?

Funny how most adults, majority who aren't even teachers, speak like summer time is break time and it's NOT. I still go to work every day (until grad school in OCTOBER!! *Pending Visa*). Just for some reason, summer is the time of "The Trips to Every Place I Can Think Of". Here, stupid airlines that give me no snack, take my money. Take me places!

For a good part of this year, I had taken on the challenge of participating in Team Challenge. I've never done anything like that before and let me tell you....I am so glad I did. Team Challenge is an organization that runs/walks in races and raises money for CCFA, Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. Amazing group raising money for my people. How could I not get involved after training for my first race ever, the Disney Princess Half Marathon, and finding that I so absolutely love training for a half. (Yes, 14 yr-old Lindsay, I did go insane. Who'da thunk?)

Also, joining Team Challenge and being on the National Team (I had no local running team near me, since I live in the middle of nowhere) I got to meet amazingly cool runners who like arts and crafts as much as I do:

From my mentor, Abbe. Totally still have this, as it is AWESOME. She gets additional awesome points for spelling my name correctly. Even relatives, who leave comments on my FACEBOOK wall spell my name incorrectly. 
 The whole National Team met for the first time at the Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon weekend, though some have been doing Team Challenge for a few years and know each other well. After just a weekend together, I'm certain I'll want to do Napa again...if only to kick the boys butts in time. I can shave an hour off my time in a year right? Totally sane goal...uh-huh yes. Watch me. I do love a challenge that involves more than "let's see how fast I can get my iron levels up, decrease my roughage, and reduce flare-ups so my GI doctor doesn't put me on any scary drugs." Oh the life of a Crohnie, you have no idea how fun. Surprise stool samples required.

Are you eating right now, I really hope you're eating right now. I mean, at my dinner table, we only talk about bowel habits when we're eating. So much sharing right now! How EXCITED are you?

Fun fact: when I first signed on to the National Team, my amazingly awesome and perky team leader, Adina, was excited to hear I had Crohn's as that meant we had the most amount of people with the disease on the National Team then they had had in a long time. Surprise, surprise, (at least to me) most people running for Team Challenge don't have Crohn's or Colitis but are running for others who do. That almost made me cry right there. And trust me, if you do Team Challenge, you cannot make it out of the Pasta Dinner without shedding some tears. Seriously. So many inspirational stories from people and it was truly inspiring to see how many people were running in honor of someone. I was really glad to be a part of it and actually able to run, unlike so many others who have Crohn's and Colitis worse than I do.

Fun fact #2: Until last October when I went to my very first CCFA support group meeting, I had never met anyone with Crohn's or Colitis. In all my 14 years with the disease. I only ever heard that some one's friend of a friend had it. So when I was actually at the half and met tons of people my age with it, it was a little more mind blowing than I expected.

Other than partying it up with a whole lot of other people with bathroom issues (guess what? we know ALL the poop jokes. Yes. All of them.), I loved this half marathon because it was in WINE COUNTRY. If you know me, you know I love my wine.
We celebrate long runs with WINE. I'm sure that's a total recovery rule. In my book. "Can't feel my knees! I know, I'll drink wine! BEST IDEA. I win."
 I ran a good race, better than my first half, not in terms of time, but the fact that I ran longer. I ran 12 miles before my digestive system woke up and alerted me to the fact that if I did not start walking soon, there would be some impolite issues to deal with soon. My first half, I made it just 10 miles. (Full race recap of the Napa Half coming soon. With more runner-friendly details other than how much wine I was drinking...although that is a fun detail in my book.)

This is what happens, though, when you don't actually follow any training program at all. As a part of Team Challenge I was given a run plan to follow from our very cool training coach (each team has their own coach), but I still have issues wrapping my head around the fact that I'm a runner. I get intimidated by expectation and often times my "training" is just running a few times a week and seeing how long I feel like going. I think after the joy I got from doing this one, and my steel-hard reserve for doing better than the boys next year, I will actually put a little more thought and effort into working on a run plan. Like, for serious guys. I'm going to start lifting weights and swimming (ohhhh cross training! Look at me go!) and everything (intervals anyone?).

I'm kind of pumped.

A few more pictures from the run:
After a long run, bananas are the only thing my stomach can tolerate for the first 45 minutes after I'm done.

How cool am I with my water belt? Yeah...you wish you were this dorky.
 This was my first time fueling up in a hotel room before a race, so I went all out and bought my favorite Gluten Free Honey'd Corn Flakes and Almond Milk for the job, ate a banana and....some tuna straight from the can. I can't help it, it's delicious and fuel/stomach friendly. I have some weird, but fun! (sarcasm folks...), dietary issues. It's not a necessity for me to be Gluten Free all the time, but before runs I'm sensitive to it if I've been eating it the days leading up to the run. Weird right? It's like a build up or something, that affects me.
Pre-race fueling in a hotel room...when you dietary issues. Always such a good time.
 The day before the race was one of the best I've had all summer (except for my birthday). I got invited to a winery that's not usually open to the public. We got a special lunch, loads of wines to taste and were allowed to wander around the gorgeous old house and property. I hope to write a post just on that winery. It really was an amazing way to get ready for a race.

So. Much. Wine. Clearly, doing it right:
Day before a race, I always seem to wind up with a wine glass in my hand. I think it's just my process now. 
 For some reason, after my half marathon, I went into a runner's coma for three weeks and didn't run at all. Then one day I decided I wanted to just jet off to Chicago to visit my sorority sister, Carrie, and check the city out. She just happened to be running in the Zooma 10K the Saturday I would be there. So, you know, just as the recovery rules go, after a half marathon, not running for a few weeks, I decided to push myself and do the 10k.

AND THEN I PR'D! And stuffed my face, and drank my weight in bourbon and whiskey.

If I haven't said it before, I'll say it now...clearly, I make good choices.

Ooh look, jewelry!!
Zooma 10K is awesome cause you get JEWELRY!!
 I managed to beat my old 10K time of 1 hour and 17 minutes and did it in 1 hour 12 minutes. I blame it all on my friend Carrie. I didn't want to embarrass myself by slowing down and we were both kept fairly distracted by the beautiful scenery of running along the lakefront and gossiping catching up. Also...damn that sun was hot. Felt hotter than running in Florida for the Disney Half.

I was proud enough that I went ahead and ate enough dairy to cover me for the rest of the year. Normally, I keep my distance (only slightly sensitive, don't worry, no serious allergies here), but how could you go to Kuma's Too and not order the mac and cheese? We added the bacon and peas because clearly we are genius'.
I love you.
 After that I made love to a burger. Medium rare with herbed goat's cheese, fried red onions, corn salsa and a lemon vinaigrette. Screw fries. With a burger that good, it needs no accouterments.

I'm fairly certain that burger made me a woman. Thank you Kuma's.
Ohmygod. I will dream of this burger FOREVER. Goatsnake = forever love. And my beer was as dark and thick as espresso. Best stuff I've had in awhile.
So over all, my running choices have been gooooood. Who would have thought that someone with Crohn's could have such adventures? And adventures that don't involve the words "surprise stool sample day"? Definitely not 14 year old me. When I was diagnosed, I was fairly certain, as certain as an all knowing teen can be, that my life was over. No travel, no good food, no exercise (cause back then, exercise was seen as something that would cause a flare-up), no friends that would understand.

Over the last 14 years of having this horrible, no-good, very bad, super lame, disease, my life has been pretty stellar.

And oh look.....I'm going to move to LONDON, ENGLAND for grad school in October for Acting. BOO-YAH. I win.



  1. Mmm pics of food (it's 8am in England and I'm still in awe over a burger.. I have a problem.) great job on the races! Side note, what sorority were you in??

  2. I'm having major food envy right now. That burger looks freakin' delicious!!!

  3. I was in the sorority Alpha Delta Pi. We were the nerdy party girls. Highest GPA on campus, always up for a party...unless there were exams or a Harry Potter release. It was good times. Not what one would expect from Greek life. Also got my obsession with going abroad because of my house.

    And that burger was insanely good. I don't think I can have another unless it looks near as good as that one.

  4. Nice blog! Just out of curiosity what grad school in London are you going to?

  5. Hi Marquesa! I'll be off to get my Master's at Rose Bruford in Sidcup, as long as I get the visa worked out in time. I love the pictures you posted on your blog. I hope to read all about your uni adventures when you head over to the UK as well! Xx